A Professional’s Review of “ADHD Does Not Exist”

ADHD Does Not Exist by Dr. Richard Saul

ADHD Does Not Exist by Dr. Richard Saul

With a blunt and outright controversial title, Dr. Richard Saul really has rocked the ADD and ADHD community. Just by looking at the title, ADHD Does Not Exist is eliciting all types of responses. It has some professionals circling the wagons while naysayers are jumping for joy. Regardless of whether or not you like what someone has to say, you at least should give that person a chance to share his or her opinion. Ironically enough, this book was released on my 40th birthday back on February 18th, so I wanted to see if the first 39 years of my life were a falsehood. In Dr. Saul’s case, I think it’s fair to say that it isn’t always fair to judge a book by its cover.

I do not believe that Dr. Saul is totally abolishing the concept of ADHD, but I think he is trying to reshape our thinking a bit. I very much agree with him on (and it flows throughout the book) is that ADHD is often the easiest diagnosis a professional will make. A good evaluation for ADHD should rule out other potential issues before giving an ADHD diagnosis. As the saying goes, just because it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck doesn’t mean it’s a duck.

There are many people that believe he or she has ADHD thanks to the wrong diagnosis. Dr. Saul shares conditions that often times have similar conditions to ADHD but really aren’t the same thing. By using real-life examples from his practice, he shares how his client was wrongly diagnosed, treated (usually with a stimulant medication) and Dr. Saul’s change to the program (and positive results). This book is desperately missing some of Saul’s professional misses. While the easiest thing it to remember when we’re right, sharing when we’re wrong when we’re wrong his also very helpful.

I would recommend this book for anyone with an open mind. While the title may be a turnoff, the book really has some solid information. Just like any source of information, you should know its background and understand who authored it.

For more information on my ADD, ADHD and Executive Functioning coaching, please visit www.adhdefcoach.com. In addition to working with clients in-person, I also work with clients all over the United States and World online, please visit www.onlineadhdcoach.com for more information. To learn more about my other services, please visit  www.carrolleducationalgroup.com www.iepexperts.com.  I can be found on Twitter at ADHDEFCoach. You can also find me on FacebookGoogle Plus and Tumblr. My good friend and fellow ADD/ADHD Coach Tara McGillicuddy invites me as a regular guest on ADD/ADHD Support Talk Radio. Feel free to email me at jonathan@adhdefcoach.com or call 773.888.ADHD (2343) with any additional questions.


  1. Reblogged this on Online ADHD Coach.

  2. Jonathan, I agree with your analysis of this situation. My personal issue with Dr. Saul, is that his marketing choices create a level of “headline misinformation” for what looks to be personal gain.

    • Well to be honest, I’m not totally sure if he had creative control over the title. But yes, the title is quite misleading. Any qualified professional worth his or her salt wouldn’t make a diagnosis without all the information available. It seems like his book is full of those stories and Saul’s the knight in shining armor.

  3. In the world we live in, perception and sound bites win the day. Regardless of Dr. Saul’s intentions, the title of the book–at very least, a marketing coup–offers a potentially damaging indictment of a diagnosis that has been safely established by every major mental health organization in the United States. By the way, anecdotal information does not a good scientific rebuttal make. I, too, have met many people in my practice who were misdiagnosed–but they are usually misdiagnosed with everything BUT their correct diagnosis: ADHD (usually Inattentive Type).

    • I appreciate your feelings on this topic. And you’re certainly very correct in your response. Mental health concerns in this country still isn’t as recognized as it needs to be. Saul’s intentions were very self-serving here, but it doesn’t mean that he’s completely wrong. The title, on the other hand, is completely misleading.

  4. I’m sorry, Jonathan, but there is absolutely NO “solid information” in this book. It is the blathering of an old MD who hasn’t kept up with the literature and continues to placate patients with old bromides and platitudes, while they continue to suffer.

    Please don’t recommend this crap to anyone. ADHD has enough problems being taken seriously.

    • Gina, I appreciate your feedback And I don’t disagree with your assessment. I always give everyone the benefit of the doubt. Quite frankly, I thought the book helped me understand the naysayers and “haters” better. But like the Godfather said, “I keep my friends close and my enemies closer.”

      I don’t particularly like Dr. Saul, but I believe in hearing what a person has to say.

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